Former Columbus Regional Health employees plead guilty in $900,000 fraud scheme

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COLUMBUS, Ga — Two former Columbus Regional Health employees plead guilty Monday to fraud and tax evasion in a credit card scheme to embezzle more than $900,000.

News 3’s media partner The Ledger-Enquirer reports 55-year-old Barbara McFerrin and 57-year-old Carol Jane Adcock appeared in U.S. District court to answer charges claiming the two used bank credit cards issued by the hospital for their personal use.

McFerrin was Columbus Regional’s director of corporate finance from 2001 until May 2015, and was originally hired in July 1991. Her accomplice, Adcock, was the accounts payable manager from June 2003 until November 2014, having been hired in June 1995.

The Ledger’s report says in 2011, the health care company switched from using Visa credit cards issued by CB&T to cards provided BBVA Compass. McFerrin’s job was to ensure all of the old cards were collected and destroyed.

Instead she and Adcock kept their CB&T cards and started using them for personal, unauthorized purchases. McFerrin used her authority to review and approve those transactions and Adcock payed the bills from Columbus Regional accounts devoted to buying medical and other supplies.

Because financial oversight was among their duties, no one else detected the scheme, until a double payment in November 2014 caused an “accounting anomaly” that triggered an investigation by the company’s accounting department.

The Ledger confirms the FBI and IRS verified the findings against McFerrin and Adcock and pursued federal felony charges.

Judge Clay Land set their sentencing for 9:30 a.m. July 13. Each is free on $10,000 bond.

Both women face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, plus paying restitution for the money they took. For tax evasion, they face up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

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